Chris Martin Credits Austin Barnes, Will Smith & Dodgers Pitching Coaches For Turnaround

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers did not make a splash at the MLB trade deadline, they did complete two under-the-radar moves that have been paying big dividends with the acquisitions of Chris Martin and Joey Gallo.

At the time of the trade, Martin had thrown 31.1 innings with a 4.31 ERA for the Chicago Cubs, but he also owned a 3.02 FIP while striking out 30.1% of batters and walking just 3%. With the Dodgers, the 35-year-old has thrown 11.1 innings while giving up only five hits, two earned runs (1.59 ERA), striking out 14 hitters and walking none, amounting to a 1.80 FIP.

In simpler terms, the Dodgers have the right-hander pitching at an elite level after he struggled with the Cubs despite his underlying positive traits. That of course has become commonplace for the Dodgers, most recently with Evan Phillips and Yency Almonte.

With the underlying metrics already in place for success, Martin hasn’t had to change anything and credits his resurgence to the game-calling abilities of Will Smith and Austin Barnes, and Dodgers pitching coaches, via SportsNet LA:

“I think Barnesy and Smith do a great job of pitch selection and location. I was just telling (Josh) Bardo (Bard) that I get in trouble when I throw too many strikes. In that situation there, I’m just trying to make a quality pitch and just focus a little bit harder. You come over here, and you really trust their process. I’m not really doing anything different. Just confident and sticking with Barnesy and Will’s plan, and everybody else behind the scenes is doing their jobs.”

Barnes is widely regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in baseball at managing a pitching staff and Smith has also taken strides since making his MLB debut.

During the offseason, Smith said he was gaining confidence in managing a pitching staff and putting more trust into his own ideas on what pitches to call.

The duo represents baseball’s best backstop tandem, but some credit also needs to be given to the Dodgers’ front office and coaching staff who provide them with the data on how to best manage the pitching staff.

But no matter who deserves more credit for the pitchers’ game plan, results are paying off as the Dodgers’ team ERA of 2.83 is 0.21 runs better than the next closest staff.

Dodgers placed Tony Gonsolin on IL

The Dodgers placed Tony Gonsolin on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to Aug. 26, with a right forearm strain. To take his place on the active roster, the team recalled Michael Grove from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

It’s a major loss for the Dodgers as Gonsolin currently leads the National League in wins (16), ERA (2.10), WHIP (0.86) and batting average against (.169) as he continued to make a push for the Cy Young Award.

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